Staff Training and Productivity
Mark Connell, Senior Logistics Architect for WiseTech
Global, explains that profits grow hand in hand with your
I’ve seen the same software implemented in different
ways, leading sometimes to great success and at other times to utter failure.
The factor that separates success from failure is the time spent gaining the
team’s commitment to the program. The greater their commitment to a
collaborative approach, the greater the benefit from the rollout.
It amazes me how many companies spend large sums of
money on software solutions only to handicap themselves by not bothering to train
people in their use. Training is an investment in the future of your people and
the future of your business. You wouldn’t buy a $250,000 Mack truck and allow
someone to drive it without the proper training or accreditation. Nor would you
set up a $1 million depot and let unlicensed storemen loose with forklifts.
Then why allow your teams to implement technology without adequate technical
training? Can you afford the catastrophic consequences of allowing freight to
move between denied parties simply because your team has not been correctly
trained in compliance functionality? Investing in software without first
investing in people leads to frustration, discontent, and a decrease in
productivity. So often I’ve seen the software blamed and thrown out, new software
brought in (at great expense), and the same cycle of errors continue.
There are ways to sidestep the pitfalls that can
ensnare your business. Train employees first in functionality that removes
paper, errors, and redundancy. Start with rating and invoicing where everyone
will see the immediate benefits of automation. These functions do all the
billing for all your clients with a single click of a button. The setup and
training on these modules will be a game changer: they can reduce two-man days to
two hours’ work. Your staff are freed to complete more skilled, productive work
for the organization and build relationships with clients. Use the same
approach for the deployment of the rest of the system. When should training
start, in relation to the implementation schedule? If you train too early, you
lose momentum because the staff won’t get to practice what they’ve learned.
Have an aggressive, go-live strategy and a plan to fill all the knowledge gaps
once the system is in production. Flexibility in training is also key. From
individual e-learning to using a face-to-face, collaborative classroom
environment, all training approaches are viable. Learning styles vary, and job
requirements have vastly different levels of complexity. The better prepared we
are, the better we know how to do something, the better the overall experience
and outcomes will be.
With today’s self-service, e-learning ensures you can
minimize the cost of ongoing training and maximize its effectiveness. For
maximum skill retention, keep to small, frequent bites of training that are
role-specific and relevant. Training must be seen as a process, not an end
point. Too busy being busy? Don’t have time to watch a video or read an update
note? Ensure that your staff has ample time to learn about the new tools
available, the ones that will take the friction points out of their day, the
ones that cut out error-prone, time consuming tasks. This is where your ability
to communicate the benefits is vital. If the complaint arises that the system isn’t
doing what it needs to do, the chances are the functionality does exist but
hasn’t yet been found. Industry-specific logistics software has been developed
over time from the vast, global accumulation of expertise, so just ask your
provider the question. Don’t waste hours suffering; take a few minutes to find
the solution. Encourage and reward your people for taking the time to look for
tips and tricks.
As a final reminder: your staff are neither
enemies nor idiots. The more training you invest into your team, the more
commitment they will give to their work. You’ll be promoting a culture of
excellence and empowering your people to take the initiative. Have an
accreditation process via which your people can benchmark their development and
celebrate their milestones. Your teams will thrive and you’ll significantly
increase your software ROI. Ultimately, training leads to collaboration,
collaboration leads to productivity, and a productive team will have a positive
effect on your bottom line. Profits will grow hand in hand with your team.
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